(Read more on the industrial market.)

SAVANNAH, GA-Honolulu-based A&B Properties Inc. has entered into a contract to acquire the one-million-sf Savannah Logistics Center for nearly $50 million. The property is being constructed by Atlanta-based Oakmont Industrial Group.

A&B, the real estate subsidiary of Alexander & Baldwin Inc., will fund the acquisition using proceeds from recent and pending real estate sales, including various tax-deferred sources. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2008 once construction is completed. The property, located at S.H. Morgan Parkway at Pooler Parkway, consists of a 710,844-sf cross dock building and a 324,832-sf front load building. It includes 201 truck doors and 459 trailer spaces and offers access to Interstate 16, Interstate 95 and the Port of Savannah.

“This property was attractive for acquisition because of its state-of-the-art design, it was constructed by a quality developer [Oakmont] and, in particular, it has ample trailer storage, which is a key requirement for logistics users,” A&B Properties Inc. executive vice president Norb Buelsing tells GlobeSt.com, who adds that A&B Properties is working with parties that are interested in leasing all or a portion of the premises.

Over the past five years, the Port of Savannah has become the fifth busiest container port in the US and the second largest by volume on the East Coast, having grown its container throughput an average of 15% per year. The Georgia Port Authority, which owns and operates the port, forecasts that total container volume will double by 2015 to four million TEUs.

“We believe Savannah has tremendous potential as a key East Coast port, with strong government support and a growing distribution hub that will augment our investment returns,” says A&B Properties chairman and CEO Allen Doane says.

With the acquisition, A&B’s leased income/investment portfolio will consist of approximately 7.6 million sf of retail, office and industrial space. The company owns 25 properties in Hawaii and 23 in the mainland US.

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